What is Criteria for Effective Targeting of Segments

Before turning to how marketers identify attractive marketing segments, it is important to targeting point out that a difficult part of the segmentation process is to choose which segment(s) to target. Not all identifiable segments are profitable, and the marketer’s challenge is to select one or more segments to target with an appropriate marketing mix. To be an effective targeting, a market segment should be:
  1. identifiable,
  2. sufficient (in terms of size),
  3. stable or growing,
  4. accessible (reachable) in terms of both media and cost, and
  5. congruent with the firm’s objectives and resources.

Identification

To divide the market into separate segments on the basis of a series of common or shared needs or characteristics that are relevant to the product or service, a marketer must be able to identify targeting these relevant characteristics. Some segmentation variables criteria, such as geography (location) or demographics (age, gender, occupation, race), are relatively easy to identify or are even observable. Others, such as education criteria, income or marital status criteria, can be determined through questionnaires. However, other characteristics, such as benefits sought or lifestyle, are more difficult effective to identify. A knowledge of consumer behaviour is especially effective useful to marketers who use such intangible consumer characteristics as the basis for market segmentation.

Sufficiency

For a market segments to be a worthwhile effective target, it must consist of a sufficient number of people to warrant tailoring a product or promotional campaign to its specific what they needs or interests. To estimate the size of each segments under consideration, marketers often use secondary demographic data criteria, such as that provided by national census bureaux (available at many libraries and online via the Internet), or they undertake a probability survey whose findings can be effective projected to targeting the total market.

Stability

Most marketers prefer to target consumer segments that are relatively stable in terms of demographic and psychological factors and needs and that are likely to effective grow larger over time. They prefer to avoid ‘fickle’ segments that are unpredictable in embracing fads. For example, teens criteria are a sizeable and easily identifiable targeting market segment, eager to buy, able to spend and easily reached. Yet, by the time a marketer produces merchandise for a popular teenage fad, interest in it may have waned.

Accessibility

A fourth requirement for effective targeting is accessibility, which means that marketers must be able to reach the market segments they want to target in an economical way. Despite the wide availability of special-interest magazines and cable television programmes, marketers are constantly looking for new media that will enable them to reach their target markets with minimum waste of circulation and competition. 

One way this can be accomplished is via the Internet. Upon the request of the consumer, a growing number of websites periodically send email messages concerning a subject of special interest to the computer user. For example, a native Russian studying at the university in Leuven, Belgium might have an airline company email him with all the coming special deals on tickets to targeting his home town in Russia.
One way this can be accomplished is via the Internet. Upon the request of the consumer, a growing number of websites periodically send email messages concerning a subject of special interest to the computer user. For example, a native Russian studying at the university in Leuven, Belgium might have an airline company email him with all the coming special deals on tickets to targeting his home town in Russia.


Congruent with the firm’s objectives and resources

Not every firm is interested or has the resources to reach or serve all the market segments available, even if these segments meet the first four criteria mentioned previously. Example, some fitness centres have chosen targeting to tailor their services to criteria women only, due to limited space in their centres, limited access to certified instructors and limited marketing budgets. Although men are an equally attractive segments for many of these centres, they have chosen to use their limited resources to serve a more effective specialised segments as well as possible.

Other firms choose not to serve one or more segments because they do not fit the long-term objectives of the firm. Choosing what a company should be and do also implies a choice of what not to do, and this sometimes results in constraining the number of segments to target.

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